Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Mascot Sugar Cookies

These were the most difficult sugar cookies I have done as of yet. As you can see in the picture they were of the school mascot for Kansas University. The cookie cutter I was provided with was pretty vague and lacked detail. I had to free hand the contour of the bird and the details. You can see a little of the actual mascot on the cute blonde's shirt. Hope she doesn't mind going public!! What a great, original idea for tailgating. Mascot cookies. My customer packed these on an airplane and ate these cookies four days later and said they tasted great. Yeah for sour cream in my recipe!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Everyone's Favorite-Chocolate Rebel Bars

OK...this is my dad's all time favorite treat. You know how they say you marry someone like your father? Well....Paul actually differs from my dad a lot...but these get his vote. Whenever I throw out the question, "What treat do you want me to bake?" he answers ...."Ohhh...chocolate rebel bars. Now...I must point out that I saw these on a blog a few days ago and they were called Chocolate Revel Bars. Is it possible that my family has been saying this wrong for like 20 years?!!! Or, did this other chick get it wrong?! Oh Well...I am a rebel and will therefore keep calling these Chocolate Rebel Bars. So... boo-ya, there ya have it.

I would like to give a grand excuse for my lack of baking lately, but it boils down to this... I am a Pinterest addict. I have a talent of wasting my designated "free" time every day on this new "hobby." I can look at people's outfits and furniture choices for hours. (I don't let myself....thank goodness or I would get nothing done!) I try to limit my daily computer time to about an hour. I promise to turn off Pinterest a little more and blog instead!!! But I do have some AMAZING looking treats I have pinned. I will try them and let you know if they are worth your time!

Chocolate Rebel Bars
Source: Jenise Keith

Throw the following ingredients into your shopping cart...

For the crust: 1 cup butter
2 cups brown sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
3 cups oatmeal
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt

For the fudgey layer of goodness...
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
2 Tab. butter
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup walnuts
2 tsp. vanilla

Put your apron on and...

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Beat together the butter, brown sugar, eggs, and vanilla for the crust in your mixer. Add in the rest of the crust ingredients. Pat 2/3 of the mixture into a
15 X 10 inch pan. I don't have a 10 X 15 inch pan. I use a 13 X 9 and it works OK.

In a saucepan, heat the milk, chocolate chips, butter, and salt till smooth. Remove from heat and add the nuts and vanilla.

Spread the chocolate, fudgey goodness over the cookie mixture in pan and then dot with the remaining oatmeal mixture. Bake at 350 for 25 to 30 minutes.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Life's a Beach Cake

One of my girlfriends threw a super cute surprise Luau for her husband...and even managed to keep it a secret. She ordered this cake from me. We found the cake idea on family fun website I believe...but there are photos of this cake EVERYWHERE on line. I added my own twist. I added a gumpaste/fondant shark fin. I also added a little more dimension to the cake by adding the hill on the beach with an upside down cupcake. The sand is finely crushed graham cracker crumbs. I also used candy rocks...my original twist on the cake. Making the white caps on the waves took some trial and error. What worked for me was to smooth on the blue blue frosting with swirly motions. Then I pipe white swirly lines with frosting. Then I took a butter knife and smoothed the harsh white line into the blue frosting blending the two together. I bought the surf board, hula figurines, palm trees, and the beach chair at my local cake supply store. They were like .25 a piece. EASY cute cake that anybody could do!!!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

How Bout them Apples? (Apple Cake Pops)

I am not a creative person. I cannot sit and draw something great. But...I can look at a simple drawing and copy it well. I cannot throw together a super cute outfit that awes a passerby. But...I can copy items from a picture and come across put together. I cannot design a cake from scratch but can copy a cute picture I found on pinterest relatively easily. If a customer asks for a teacher gift...I am like....duhhhh....emptiness....But...I can turn to Bakerella and copy her brilliantness (spell check tells me this is not a word...I don't care) quite well. Thank goodness for the talents of others. Right? I feel like I would be a blob of nothingness without the creativity of others to copy. Any one else out there like me??!!

I didn't feel right basically copying Bakerella's instructions here for these cute apple cake pops. So click here for hers. I made mine out of yellow cake and cream cheese frosting. They were delish. I put a square of Styrofoam at the bottom of each little terra cotta pot. The picture doesn't show it, but I loosely covered each individual cake pop with a small treat bag and tied a bow under each apple. It turned out super cute. It isn't too late for a Back to School gift for teachers!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Pistachio Cake- My New Favorite Dessert...for the minute

I know...it's beautiful isn't it? Nuts, moist cake, chocolate....oh my! Seriously this is one of those recipes that I will make for the rest of my life. I got the recipe from a girlfriend of mine. She got it from her sister-in-law and it is their family favorite for get-togethers. I couldn't wait to try it. Paul says that he wants this to be his new birthday cake every year....can't wait till January...

Pistachio Cake
Source: Tanya Greaves

1/2 cup chopped nuts
1/2 cups chocolate chips
1 plain white cake
1 package instant pistachio pudding mix
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup water
1/2 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
1/2 cup chocolate syrup
Shiny Chocolate Glaze

Grease and flour bundt pan. Sprinkle pecans and chocolate chips on the bottom of the pan. Blend together cake mix, sugar, pudding mix, water, oil and eggs. Remove 1 cup of batter to a separate bowl. Pour the rest of the mix (the majority) in the bundt pan. To the 1 cup of reserved batter, add the chocolate syrup...stir til blended. Pour over rest of the batter and swirl with a butter knife. Bake at 350 for 55 to 60 minutes. Cool 20 minutes before flipping over. Cool 20 minutes more and serve warm drizzled with shiny chocolate glaze.

Shiny Chocolate Glaze

2 T butter
2 T unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Monday, September 5, 2011

Anybody-Can-Do-It Baseball Cupcakes

Effortless. Fast. Cute. These baseball cupcakes are a hit for any team of hungry cupcake lovers! I feel stupid even posting instructions! Simply spread on white buttercream smoothly with a small spatula. With red royal icing, in a bag with a number 2 tip, pipe on laces. Wa-La! You have a baseball. Batters Up!!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

EASY Fondant Ribbon Roses

Look!!! Twice in a week! And...I already started two other posts as promised! Oh yeah...baby, I am back! I have had the best week ever! Monday I went to the Def Leopard/ Heart concert. It was rockin'!! I had a blast. A friend of mine got tickets and shared. Don't even know/usually appreciate rock, but I loved it! (I am a hard core country music fan....raised in Texas...all have an appreciation for country music. In high school, even the gangsters knew and respected the great George Strait when they weren't listening to good 'ol Tupac). Then, Wednesday night I saw Broadway Les Miserables. It was life changing. I have seen Wicked and The Phantom of the Opera. Les Miserables was so different. It was tragic and chilling and beautiful. SEE IT if you have the chance!

I made these cupcakes for a good friend of mine who is sadly moving. She loves this chocolate cake recipe more than anything else in life. (OK, that might be a slight exaggeration...)
It took me about 15 minutes to make the 6 roses.

Roll out your fondant super thin. Evenly cut it into 1/2 inch by about 3 inches long strips. With a brush, brush water along the top edge of the length of 1 strip.

Then fold this edge over onto itself. This helps the fondant crack less when you roll it up.

Roll each ribbon rose up starting at the short end. Pinch it between your thumb and pointer finger as you go, smoothing it down and helping it lay right. After it is rolled, I pinched off excess fondant from the underneath of each rose.

I have a great Wilton mold that I used for the leaves. You could just freehand cut them out of fondant. With a toothpick you can mark veins. You can also use a daisy shaped cookie cutter and cut off the points to use for leaves. Then mark veins accordingly.

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